SNAPSHOT: Legal Campaigners Fight Climate Change Through the Courts

 
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Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons

2018 saw an uptick in legal action on climate change, with citizens, cities, and states turning to the courts to push for faster government action to cut greenhouse gas emissions or hold fossil companies accountable for their outsized role in bringing about the climate crisis.

In a landmark decision that had climate hawks around much of the world hoping for a precedent, an appeal court in the Netherlands upheld a lower court order calling for faster emissions cuts by the national government. Courts in Germany ordered three cities to consider banning high-polluting diesel vehicles and temporarily protected a remnant of the 12,000-year-old Hambach Forest from an open-cast coal mine. A report found that more than 80 climate-related lawsuits had landed in U.S. courtrooms in 2017.

The Rise of Climate Attribution Litigation

Legal campaigners built on the emergence of climate impact attribution studies in 2017 as a possible tool for holding fossils, other businesses, and governments accountable for climate impacts by pinpointing the role of major emitters in climate disasters. In mid-May, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine said time will tell how well attribution science fares in court. But by then, District Court Judge William Alsup had upheld two California cities’ right to attempt to sue carbon polluters in federal court. Alsup ultimately ruled against the cities, dealing “the first major blow to the wave of climate suits that have been filed by communities across the country over the past year,” Climate Liability News reported. But before concluding that it was up to elected legislators, not an unelected judge, to decide whether the world is better off without oil, Alsup held what amounted to a climate science seminar in his courtroom, in what Michael Burger, Executive Director of Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, called “the closest that we have seen to a trial on climate science in the United States to date.”

In Canada, West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL) and the Georgia Strait Alliance were satisfied with the near-miss when a proposal to send municipal climate accountability letters to 20 colossal fossils earned the support of 47.8% of local officials at the Union of B.C. Municipalities. While “we narrowly lost the vote,” wrote WCEL staff lawyer Andrew Gage, “I felt surprisingly good about it” given the quick pace at which the proposal gained support. WCEL also released a legal tookit for campaigners opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Legal Action from All Directions

Rhode Island became the first U.S. state to sue fossils for climate impacts; Colorado filed against ExxonMobil and Suncor; and New York City launched a claim against five giant fossil producers for their role in Hurricane Sandy, “a tragedy wrought by the actions of the fossil fuel companies” that left 44 dead and US$19 billion in damage after it stormed ashore in October 2012.

Later in the year, New York State filed suit against ExxonMobil, claiming that America’s biggest oil company had misled investors about its management of climate risk. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni had previously accused Exxon of “running roughshod over the adage that the best defence is a good offence” with its claim that New York and Massachusetts were violating its free speech rights by probing whether it had misled investors. A bipartisan group in the United States proposed a carbon tax deal that would have protected fossils from future climate liability.

Dutch journalist Jelmer Mommers discovered that Royal Dutch Shell understood the urgency of climate change as far back as 1988. In mid-November, U.S. crab fishers sued 30 fossils, including Calgary-based Encana Corporation, in a bid to hold them accountable for “significant economic losses” due to ocean warming off California and Oregon.

Fourteen U.S. states sued the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce its methane control regulations, 19 states threatened legal action after the Trump administration moved to roll back tailpipe emission standards, and Colorado’s oil and gas regulator faced an environmental lawsuit from a poor, mostly Hispanic neighbourhood in the city of Greeley.

A Quebec village defeated a lawsuit that would have prevented it from protecting its water supply from fossil exploration. South Portland, Maine, won a landmark case upholding a local anti-pipeline ordinance, and anti-pipeline campaigners found out to their dismay that when they win in court, U.S. regulators just change the rules. Montreal-based ENvironnement JEUnesse (ENJEU) opened a class action suit on behalf of Quebec youth aged 35 and under, taking Ottawa to task for its inadequate plan to combat climate change.

More Delays for Landmark Youth Lawsuit

The Trump administration continued its feverish effort to keep the 21 youth plaintiffs behind Juliana v. United States out of court. After the White House lost a bid to quash the case in March, the trial was scheduled for October 29. The plaintiffs bought their train tickets to Eugene, Oregon, only to be held up again by additional court challenges.

Youth in Colombia took their government to court for failing to protect their future, and eight youth plaintiffs filed suit in mid-April against Florida’s climate-denying governor, Rick Scott.

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Without Net Zero Plans, Pandemic-Driven CO2 Decline a ‘Pit Stop’ to Climate Ruin

Forecasters are predicting that coronavirus disruptions will lead to the largest annual drop in carbon dioxide emissions ever recorded—but multiple data challenges make any such estimates extremely tentative, and without post-pandemic recovery efforts that prioritize and accelerate the zero-carbon shift, the plunge in emissions will prove nothing more than a brief pit stop on the road to climate ruin, analysts warn.

Major U.S. Transmission Projects Keep On Pushing to Bring Renewable Power to Market

After a tough decade of regulatory and public hurdles for new electricity transmission projects in the United States, Greentech Media is out with a profile of nine major lines that are at various stages of review and approval.

Oregon Campaigners Push Back on LNG Plant, Pipeline Approval

New Alberta Energy Regulator CEO Faced Scandal in Saskatchewan

Major New Transmission Line Nabs Missouri Supreme Court Approval

Banned CFCs Still in Use, Affecting Climate and Ozone Layer

Court Quashes Trump Attempt to Roll Back Obama-Era HFC Controls

With one dissenting vote by a Trump-appointed judge, a federal court in Washington, DC has shot down a bid by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend an Obama-era regulation to control hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), one of the most dangerous greenhouse gases known to humanity.

Keep Local Markets Open, UK Food Security Expert Urges

With the COVID-19 pandemic manifesting as an economic nightmare as well as a health crisis, food security groups in the UK are urging policy-makers to make clear that local food markets must stay open so that vulnerable populations do not go hungry.

EU Circular Economy Law Promotes Repair, Reuse

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Alberta Demands Fossil Relief While Neglected Tech Firms Plan Their Exit

While Alberta blasts Ottawa for slow delivery of its fossil industry bailout package, the Jason Kenney government is hearing from high tech entrepreneurs who are preparing to leave the province over its steadfast refusal to build a more diversified economy.

Post-Pandemic Employment Will Hinge on Green Energy as Fossil Jobs Slide

With projected oilfield job losses of 30% by the end of 2020, the fossil sector is likely to remain highly embattled after the threat of COVID-19 has abated, with little ability to create new jobs. But the job-intensive green energy sector could be set to flourish, particularly if policy-makers include some variant of a Green New Deal in their plans for secondary stimulus packages, a new analysis shows.

California Looks to Double Green Energy Capacity, Cut Emissions by 2030

New solar and storage facilities—and no new gas plant approvals—are the cornerstones of California’s recently-released plan to drastically reduce emissions to just 46 megatonnes by 2030, and hit a 100% renewable energy target by 2045.

Four B.C. First Nations Seek Supreme Court Appeal on Trans Mountain

Four British Columbia First Nations are seeking permission for a Supreme Court appeal of a lower court’s unanimous decision supporting the federal government’s re-approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

Hand Sanitizer Holds Out Weak Lifeline for Embattled U.S. Ethanol Industry

Ethanol producers struggling through the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic are welcoming new U.S. government rules that will permit them to provide alcohol for the manufacturing of hand sanitizer. But there is widespread doubt that hitching ethanol’s fortunes to the pandemic supply chain will prove much of a lifeline.

Bank of England Mulls Penalties for Polluting Assets

Washington State Extends ZEV Mandate to Medium-Duty Vehicles

Regulator in Iowa Agrees to Double Capacity of Dakota Access Pipeline

Honolulu Sues Fossils for Climate Costs

PG&E Accepts Involuntary Manslaughter Plea in 2018 Camp Fire

Trump Rolls Back Fuel Economy Standard Aimed at Cleansing the Air, Cutting Emissions

With his country in the grips of an out-of-control pandemic of respiratory disease, Donald Trump is pressing ahead with his long-standing plan to gut vehicle fuel efficiency standards designed to cleanse the air and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in what InsideClimate News describes as the country’s “largest anti-climate rollback ever”.

Pembina Praises Ottawa for ‘Staying the Course’ on Carbon Price Increase

By sticking to its original plan to increase its floor price on carbon from C$20 to $30 per tonne April 1, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government is sending a “positive signal to investors” and delivering the certainty needed to build a more resilient economy, the Pembina Institute said in a release yesterday.

Tesla Fudged Injury Reports, California Regulator Charges

Judge Rejects Trump Oil and Gas Leases Over Poor Public Consultation

Oregon Protesters Try Necessity Defence for First Time

Renewable Energy

Pandemic Response Should Mobilize Around Low-Carbon Solutions

With the coronavirus pandemic devastating the global economy and pushing world oil prices over a cliff, the federal government has two potential options in dealing with the oil and gas industry. It can give in to the predictable lobbying from fossil fuel interests, or it can use the virtual shutdown of the economy for industry mobilization. A post for Policy Options by Mitchell Beer

U.S. Judge Orders New Environmental Assessment for Dakota Access Pipeline

A U.S. federal judge has sent the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers back the drawing board in its review of the fiercely-contested Dakota Access pipeline, after agreeing with the Standing Rock Sioux of North and South Dakota that environmental assessments missed the full impact of the project.

Grassy Mountain Coal Mine

Proposed Alberta Coal Mine Expansion Evades Federal Review

Alberta’s proposed Vista thermal coal mine has tweaked its expansion plans to just below the dimensions that would trigger a federal review, opening Canada to charges of hypocrisy on the world stage.

Judge Bars Alton Gas Approval, Demands Consultation with Mi’kmaq

Major Southern U.S. Utility Impedes Public Input on Resource Planning

VW to Hire ‘Aggressive’ Climate Campaigner to Police Policies

Democrats’ Environmental Justice Bill Faces Uphill Fight in Congress

Analysis: Fossil Bailout Not the Prescription for Canada’s Fiscal Health

Shovels or ladders?

That is the stark choice facing Justin Trudeau and Parliament as they consider aiding western Canada’s giant tar sands/oil sands producers, which can now sell their oil for only about US$10 per barrel. One year ago, the sales price was US$55. By Paul McKay.

U.S. Poll Shows Bipartisan Support for Transit Funding, Fills Gap in Green New Deal

Americans of all political stripes are increasingly supportive of expanded public transit, and there is a growing conviction that there should be more restrictions on new road creation, according to a recent poll on behalf of Transportation for America (T4America). 

Unregulated Tar Sands/Oil Sands Emissions May Undercut Canada’s Methane Reductions

Although Canada can still meet its 2025 deadline to reduce methane releases from conventional oil and gas production by 40 to 45%, those gains could be wiped out by methane increases in tar sands/oil sands operations that aren’t subject to regulation, a new report concludes.

11th Democratic Primary Debate has Biden, Sanders Talking Climate Strategy

Former U.S. vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders did something unusual when they met last Sunday evening for the eleventh televised debate of the Democratic Party’s presidential primary: they spent about 12 minutes talking about the climate crisis.

Florida to Require Sea Level Rise Studies for Coastal Construction

Florida may soon require sea level rise studies before approving publicly-funded construction projects in coastal areas, under legislation adopted unanimously last week by the state House of Representatives.

NYC Billy ‘Idle’ Campaign Dodges Root Causes of Air Pollution

New York City’s recent announcement of a US$1-million anti-idling campaign featuring British glam rocker Billy Idol may be witty, but what the community really needs is the political will to take more cars off city streets—an unlikely prospect, given Mayor Bill de Blasio’s penchant for governing “from a windshield perspective,” writes Grist.

Congo Human Rights Activist Faces Death Threats in Cobalt Child Labour Lawsuit

Why U.S. States Must Ban New Gas Hookups

Five U.S. States Block Cities’ Bids to Ban Natural Gas

Morneau Unveils Business Loans, Kenney Seeks ‘Unity’ as Coronavirus Crash Roils Alberta

Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled C$10 billion in new credit for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Jason Kenney called for greater “unity” and less partisanship, and Alberta fossils announced deep cuts in their 2020 spending plans as Canada began grappling with the double-hit of a coronavirus-driven economic slowdown and crashing global oil prices.

Benefits of Telecommuting May Outlast Virus Outbreak

Work-from-home policies being implemented around the world in an urgent effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 could create a significant long-term boost to climate action plans, both by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building future resilience.

Climate Crisis Response a ‘Cautionary Tale’ for Health Organizers

The fight for climate action offers a “cautionary tale” for policy-makers looking to accelerate their efforts to #FlattenTheCurve on COVID-19—as well as on how to best stimulate the global economy in the pandemic’s aftermath, reports the New York Times.

U.S. Federal Judge Gives Thumbs-Up to Quebec-California Cap-and-Trade

Israel Suspends New Oil Shale Permits

Prince George School Evacuated after Latest Canadian Train Derailment

In yet another Canadian freight train derailment, 27 cars left the tracks near Prince George, British Columbia last week, forcing the evacuation of a local elementary school and leaving a nearby creek contaminated with petroleum coke.

Baltimore Case against Big Oil to Proceed in State Court

Baltimore citizens seeking to hold Big Oil liable for the devastating consequences of its activities had cause to celebrate last week when an appeals court denied the industry’s bid to have the case moved to a more sympathetic federal court. The suit is one of several under way that target the “elaborate disinformation campaign” intended to suppress public knowledge about the climate-destroying impacts of fossil fuel burning. 

Prof Takes University of Regina to Court Over Disclosure of Fossil Research Funding

Pronghorn, Sage Grouse Won’t Survive Trump Plan for Wyoming Gas Wells

Australia Working Toward Net Zero Despite Federal Stonewalling

Continued attempts by Scott Morrison’s government to downplay the climate crisis and obstruct solutions in Australia are proving to be increasingly out of step with public opinion, as state and local governments—as well as business interests, environmentalists, and ordinary people—fight to decarbonize the country by 2050. 

Hope for Stability Fades as Guyana Becomes Nascent Petro-State

Hopes that Guyana’s nascent democracy and fragile economy might defy standard petro-state precedents and realize only benefits from the country’s sudden vault into the ranks of the oil-rich have grown dimmer in recent weeks, as the new wealth fuels pre-existing ethnic tensions.

2018 Pipeline Explosion Near Prince George Revealed “Shocking” Safety Breaches

The Lheidli T’enneh First Nation has responded to a Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) report on an October 2018 Enbridge pipeline explosion near the community’s borders, saying the report contains “shocking” confirmation of serious safety breaches.

10-Month Deadline Makes Netherlands a ‘Test Case’ for Rapid Decarbonization

The Netherlands has become a reluctant test case for how quickly a government can cut its carbon emissions when it’s required to, after the supreme court ruled late last year that the country must cut its greenhouse gas emissions 25% below 1990 levels by the end of 2020. 

Coastal Cities Must Fight or Flee as Global Waters Rise

With global sea levels expected to rise an average of one to four feet by 2100, cities like San Francisco, Manila, and Boston are set to become case studies in how urban planning decisions will create varying impacts across economic classes in an increasingly watery world.

Coastal GasLink Resumes Construction After Wet’suwet’en, Canada, B.C. Reach Draft Agreement

U.S. Youth Launch Appeal After Judge Blocks Climate Lawsuit

Globe Editorial Urges Ottawa Not to Let Ford Loosen Pollution Regs

Regulator Pushes Michigan Utility to Speed Up Efficiency, Renewables

Regulations Blamed as New England’s Biggest Coal Plant Set to Stay Open to 2024

Federal Regulator Undercuts New York’s Renewables, Storage Plans

Tamil Nadu, India Bans New Oil Production to Protect Farming

New U.S. Energy Legislation Backs Solar, Wind and Storage, Misses Out on Efficiency, Pushes Fracked Gas Exports

A massive, bipartisan energy bill could come up for a vote in the U.S. Senate as soon as this week, with billions of dollars directed to solar, wind, and storage, but no explicit climate targets, major gaps on energy efficiency, no tax credits for electric vehicles or renewables, and continuing support for fossil fuels.

California Judge Scorches PG&E’s Wildfire Plan

Poland ‘Thinking Big’ About Banning Coal Stoves and Burners

Calgary Pipeliner Left to Wait as U.S. Regulator Delays Decision on Oregon LNG Terminal

The Calgary-based pipeliner behind a proposed US$10-billion liquefied natural gas export terminal in Oregon is facing what the Financial Post calls a “surprise setback”, after the Trump-appointed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted to delay its decision on the plan to send Canadian gas to Asian markets.

EU European Union

EU Considers Border Adjustment Charge to Penalize Carbon-Intensive Imports

The European Union is poised to fast-track some form of border adjustment to protect its domestic industries from international competitors in countries with less stringent carbon reduction policies.

Brazil Fires Top Climate Policy Staff, Calling Paris Commitment Into Further Doubt

The environment ministry in Brazil has fired the director and deputy director responsible for its climate change programs, at a moment when the international community is looking more closely at the climate impact of the country’s moves to clearcut the Amazon rainforest. 

Wisconsin Utility Plans 1 GW New Solar by 2023

A power utility in Wisconsin is planning to install a gigawatt of new solar capacity through 2023.

Week 9, March 2: Green Buildings

Buildings produce 12% of Canada’s GHGs. The challenge is two-fold: new builds, and retrofitting Canada’s 15 million homes and 480,000 industrial, commercial and institutional buildings.

Trump Fuel Efficiency Rollback Looks Like Dead End

U.S. Fossils Seek Protection from Local Climate Lawsuits

Arizona Moves to Prevent Municipal Bans on Gas Furnaces

‘Bell Tolls on Carbon Economy’ as UK Court Rules Third Heathrow Runway Illegal

United Kingdom climate campaigners are declaring a precedent-setting win after an appeal court ruled the proposed third runway at Heathrow Airport illegal, citing the national government’s failure to include the country’s climate commitments in the project planning process.

Coastal GasLink Agrees to Two-Day Construction ‘Pause’ as Wet’suwet’en-Crown Negotiations Begin

The company behind the contested Coastal GasLink pipeline through unceded Wet’suwet’en territory in northeastern British Columbia has agreed to pause construction for two days to “facilitate” preliminary negotiations between hereditary chiefs and the governments of Canada and B.C.

BP Quits Three Fossil Trade Groups, Remains Member of American Petroleum Institute

Colossal fossil BP is dropping its membership in three U.S. industry organizations, but continuing its association with the American Petroleum Institute, the ubiquitous national lobby group that has pushed for a wide-ranging rollback of climate and environmental regulations under Donald Trump.

Shift Fossil Subsidies Into Orphan Well Reclamation Jobs, Green MPs Urge Morneau

The federal Green Party caucus is calling on Finance Minister Bill Morneau to redirect fossil fuel subsidies to fund orphan well reclamation that would create jobs in the country’s fossil regions and ease the transition off oil and gas, iPolitics reports.

U.S. Solar Jobs Bounce Back Despite Trump Tariffs

Solar energy jobs in many parts of the United States have been bouncing back over the last year, with falling costs and a rush of new installations before federal tax credits expire offsetting the past impact of Donald Trump’s punishing tariffs on imported panels, according to new data from The Solar Foundation.

Democrats Propose Three-Year Ban on New U.S. Plastics Plants

Democrats in the House of Representatives are calling for a three-year moratorium on new plastics plants across the United States, while the National Academy of Sciences studies the health and climate impacts of a massive buildout in the country’s plastic manufacturing capacity.

Swiss Judge Convicts Climate Activist for Red Paint Protest

Latest Fossil Bankruptcy Puts NWT Oil Well Cleanup at Risk

Proponent of Pulling U.S. Out of Paris Deal Becomes EPA Chief of Staff

Alberta Appeal Court Rejects Federal Carbon Price

The Court of Appeal of Alberta has declared the federal government’s carbon pricing scheme unconstitutional, calling it a “constitutional Trojan horse” that intrudes on provincial jurisdiction.

U.S. Fossil Pulls the Plug on 124-Mile Constitution Gas Pipeline

Climate campaigners are chalking up another win in New York State this week, after Tulsa, Oklahoma-based fossil giant Williams Companies pulled the plug on its proposed 124-mile Constitution gas pipeline and wrote off the US$345 million it had already spent on the project.

Tyendinaga blockade

Blockades Continue, Businesses Seek Compensation as RCMP Continues Patrols on Wet’suwet’en Territory

With the RCMP closing its outpost but continuing its patrols on Wet’suwet’en territory, Tyendinaga Mohawks facing a deadline to end their rail blockade in Ontario, and businesses demanding compensation for lost freight access, the community members at the heart of the fight against the Coastal GasLink pipeline say they’re a long way from signalling an end to a growing country-wide protest.

Ottawa ‘Very Hopeful’ Blockades Will End as RCMP Promises to Leave Wet’suwet’en Territory

RCMP in British Columbia decided Thursday to abandon the presence in Wet’suwet’en territory that has sparked railway blockades, economic disruptions, and nearly 1,000 layoffs across the country, leaving Public Safety Minister Bill Blair “very hopeful” that negotiations with hereditary chiefs over the controversial Coastal GasLink pipeline can now proceed.

Wilkinson Links Teck Decision to Rising GHG Emissions from Alberta Oilpatch

Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has put Alberta on notice that its rising greenhouse gas emissions will be a factor in the federal cabinet’s impending decision on the proposed Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine.

Pembina: Emissions 70% Above Global Average Put Tar Sands/Oil Sands on ‘Collision Course’

Carbon emissions per barrel that are still 70% above the global average, and still on the rise, are putting Alberta tar sands/oil sands producers on a “collision course” with Canada’s climate targets and with changing expectations in global markets, the Pembina Institute reports in a study released Wednesday.

Stewart: Cabinet Decisions on Wet’suwet’en Blockades, Teck Will Show What Ottawa Stands For

With crucial decisions coming up or in progress on the Wet’suwet’en blockades and the proposed Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine in Alberta, Canadians are about to find out what the second-term Trudeau government in Ottawa really stands for. 

And the answer to that question might turn on how the federal Liberals “decide to address a crucial imbalance in their political calculus,” writes Greenpeace Canada Senior Energy Strategist Keith Stewart, in an opinion piece this week for CBC News.

35 Vintage Photos Show Polluted LA of the 1940s

UK Considers Gas Heating Ban

Liberal MPs Declare a No-Win, Canadians Split as Pembina Scorches Teck Project Review

With a federal cabinet decision on Teck Resources’ controversial Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine looming by the end of the month, some of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s own caucus members are declaring the project a no-win proposition for the minority Liberal government, while polling shows Canadian voters split on the project.

New Trade Deal May Help U.S. Ship Coal to Asia Through Canadian, Mexican Ports

The Trump administration is looking for support from Canada and Mexico under the newly-signed U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA) to help it circumvent state-level bans on coal shipments to Asia from western U.S. states.

Canada On Track to Hit Carbon Reduction Target for Grid Electricity

Be sure to sit down before you read this: Canada is in good shape to meet one of its national greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, according to a report the federal government recently filed with the United Nations.

Delayed Coal Closures Harm Minority Communities’ Health, Indiana NAACP Warns

The state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is urging Indiana legislators to defeat a bill that would harm the health of low-income and minority communities by the extending the operating life of nearby coal plants.

10 U.S. Refineries Exceeded EPA Limits for Carcinogenic Benzene in 2019

Washington State Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Nets Endorsement from Alaska Airlines

BREAKING: Cancelled Project Means the ‘End of New Coal’ in Europe

Lawyers at ClientEarth are heralding “the end for new coal” in Europe, after Polish utilities Enea and Energa announced last night that they would suspend work on the controversial new Ostrołęka C plant, citing economic concerns.

Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Would Draw a Lesson from Cold War

A global fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty, analogous the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty adopted in 1967, is a necessary mechanism to get greenhouse gas emissions under control in time to hold average global warming below 1.5°C, according to a post last week for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Policy Analysts Urge All-Party Cooperation on Climate Accountability

Now is the time for all parties in the House of Commons to cooperate on accountability measures to prevent Canada from missing its latest set of carbon reduction targets, four of the country’s leading climate policy analysts argued earlier this month in an opinion piece for the Hill Times.

Norway May Redefine Northern ‘Ice Edge’ to Limit Oil and Gas Drilling

Norway is working on a creative way to limit oil and gas drilling in the offshore areas under its control: it’s considering redefining the “ice edge” that determines how far north fossils can go to pursue exploration activities.

Europe’s ‘Positive Energy Districts’ Deliver Community Power to the Grid

Europe is planning to set up 100 or more “positive energy districts” by 2025, enabling whole neighbourhoods to become net electricity exporters to the grid. But the success of the effort could hinge on several factors, including an aggressive energy retrofit program to reduce local energy demand.

Latest Saskatchewan Oil Train Derailment Spilled 1.2 Million Litres

Democrats Ask Banks to Bar Arctic Drilling

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/

Ottawa Mulls Alberta ‘Aid Package’ as Province Angles for Teck Mine Approval

With an end-of-month deadline looming for a cabinet decision on Teck Resources’ proposed Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine, Ottawa was preparing an “aid package” to cushion the blow for Alberta if it rejects the company’s plan, Alberta said it wasn’t interested in a federal “handout”, and Teck itself was facing stiff financial headwinds that were entirely unrelated to the C$20.6-billion megaproject.

Trump’s ‘Clarified’ Policy Ends Penalties for Bird Deaths

RCMP Arrest Six in Pre-Dawn Raid on Wet’suwet’en Support Camp

More than a dozen heavily-armed RCMP arrested six people Thursday morning in a pre-dawn raid at a camp on traditional Wet’suwet’en territory, as the force began acting on a court injunction against protesters blocking construction of the controversial Coastal GasLink pipeline.

India Threatens to Shut 15 GW of Coal Capacity Due to Air Quality Concern

India’s Central Pollution Control Board is threatening to shutter 14 coal plants representing about 15 gigawatts of generating capacity and assess penalties against their operators, after they missed two deadlines to reduce particulate and sulphur dioxide emissions.

Parliamentary Budget Officer Sees Most Households Coming Out Ahead from Federal Carbon Price

Most households in provinces subject to the federal government’s backstop price on carbon will get more money back in rebates than they pay out in taxes, though less than Ottawa projected last year, the non-partisan Parliamentary Budget Officer concluded in a new analysis released this week.

Italian Fossil Fined $5.6M for False Advertising on Climate Action

Climate Campaigners Sue Trump Over Aviation Emissions

Appeal Court Rejects First Nations’ Trans Mountain Challenge

The Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, and Coldwater First Nations vowed yesterday to continue their fight after the Federal Court of Appeal unanimously rejected their challenge to the federal cabinet’s re-approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Wilkinson Wants More Detail After Teck Promises Net-Zero by 2050

Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says he’s waiting for more detail before deciding whether Teck Resources’ promise to make its operations net-zero for emissions by 2050 will influence cabinet’s decision on the company’s C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine proposal.

State and Local Progress Can’t Outweigh White House Hostility to Climate Action

While climate action by U.S. states and cities is paying off, with participating jurisdictions now representing nearly 70% of U.S. GDP and population and accounting for more than 50% of national emissions, even the biggest wins can’t make up for the lack of federal support under Donald Trump. 

But with a U-turn in national policy after next January’s presidential inauguration, there’s still a prospect that the United States could nearly halve its emissions by 2030, InsideClimate News reports.

Lawyer Under House Arrest Beat Chevron in Court, but ‘Lost Everything’

Canada to Enact Single-Use Plastics Ban in 2021

The Trudeau government will move ahead with a ban on single-use plastics next year, after a federal science report found more than enough evidence that plastics pollution causes harm, with 29,000 tonnes of plastic garbage ending up as litter in 2016.

France, UK See New Lawsuits Against Fossil Fuel Development

New lawsuits against fossil fuel development were introduced in two major European countries last week, with five campaign organizations and 14 local governments filing suit against colossal fossil Total SA and ClientEarth taking action against the UK’s approval of the continent’s biggest gas-fired power plant.

China’s Aviation Emissions Set to Quadruple by 2050

Despite the spread of the “flight shame” phenomenon and industry pledges to address the carbon footprint of aviation, greenhouse gas emissions from commercial flights are expected to increase 300% by 2050, with emissions from China’s aviation sector projected to nearly quadruple.

UK’s Net Zero Pledge Undermined by Poor Communication

More than 80% of U.K. citizens support their government’s “net zero by 2050” pledge, but fewer than half really understand what that push will entail or even why it’s necessary—a failure of communication that could torpedo the country’s efforts to decarbonize.

Jonathan WIlkinson

Cabinet Could Delay Teck Decision, as Company Says Mega-Mine May Never Be Built

Maneuvering around Teck Resources’ controversial Frontier tar sands/oil sands proposal is heating up, with Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson saying Cabinet review of the project may be delayed, while Teck CEO Don Lindsay says it’s “anyone’s guess” whether his company will build the C$20.6-billion project if it’s approved.

Radioactive Fossil Wastewater Still Flows, 40 Years After Damning Insider Report

Nearly 40 years after the American Petroleum Institute (API) warned industry officials that oil and gas wastewater is “significantly” radioactive, regulation remains non-existent, callously leaving largely unaware industry workers and the broader public exposed to life-threatening toxins.

Simplified Application Process Sends Solar Uptake through the Roof

A few simple changes in the local application process led to a 3,000% increase in the issuance of solar panel permits in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg. The municipality made the changes with guidance from SolSmart, a solar power recognition program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

https://pixabay.com/en/plastic-bottles-fishing-net-netting-388679/

Fracking Industry Driving Massive Boom in Plastic Production

Ignoring a shocking carbon footprint, a broken global recycling system, and ever-growing public outcry, the fossil and petrochemical industries are banking big on plastics, pouring billions into new production facilities as a hedge against the coming crash of the internal combustion engine.

EU Automakers Ask Governments for Mandatory Charging Infrastructure Targets

Emails Show Trump Appointees Using Wildfire Data to Justify Increased Logging

Obedient to Donald Trump’s inclination to prioritize industry over the public interest, political appointees in the U.S. Department of the Interior manipulated wildfire emissions data into a narrative that presented more logging—rather than climate action—as the best way to prevent future fires.

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Climate Campaigners Raise Flags Over Press Freedom Award for Chevron Lawyer

Anti-fossil campaigners are crying foul after the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) chose to honour Chevron lead attorney Ted Boutrous for his work to protect First Amendment freedoms.

Reject Teck Wilkinson petition

41,500 Petition Signatures Urge Wilkinson, Federal Cabinet to Reject Teck Frontier Mine

Climate campaigners delivered a petition with 41,500 signatures to Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson’s North Vancouver constituency office Friday, demanding the federal Cabinet reject Teck Resources’ proposed C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands megaproject in Alberta.

Fracking Tied to Two Central Alberta Earthquakes in 12 Months

Two earthquakes in central Alberta in 2018 and 2019 were caused by nearby shale oil fracturing operations, a research team from the province’s geological society and energy regulator has concluded.

low-flow showerhead

Decades-Old Environmental Action Handbook Pivots to ‘Permanent System Change’

Three decades after 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Planet first took America by storm, its bestselling author is still pushing simple steps to help people reduce their environmental footprint. But he’s also urging his readers to go after the legislative, institutional, and structural changes that will be needed to enforce better climate and environmental performance.

Trump Took Hacksaw to Environmental Protection Act After BP Told Him To

multi-storey Volkswagen parking lot

Record $196.5M Fine in Dieselgate Scandal Points to ‘New Era of Environmental Protection’

A record-setting C$196.5-million fine levied against Volkswagen after it pleaded guilty to dozens of charges in the epic Dieselgate scandal, heralds a “new era of environmental protection,” according to judge who heard the case.

Ex-Alberta Liberal Leader Declares Tax Revolt Over Deadbeat Fossils’ $173M Debt to Rural Municipalities

A former opposition politician in Alberta is calling for a tax revolt after Premier Jason Kenney sided with deadbeat fossils against the rural municipalities they’re depriving of C$173 million in local tax revenue.

Trump Policies Hand Poor, Non-White Areas the ‘Brunt’ of Climate Impacts

Critics are warning that the Trump administration’s proposed changes to the environmental review process for pipeline and highway megaprojects will hit poor and minority Americans hardest.

‘Words Make Worlds’: Holthaus Issues Call to Imagine, Create a Radically Positive Future

As the climate crisis deepens, we must be “radically imaginative,” telling ourselves and each other stories of fiercely visionary, loving, and productive collective actions that will help end the climate emergency, veteran meteorologist and climate hawk Eric Holthaus writes in The Correspondent.

Countries Can’t Turn Back Climate Refugees Whose Lives Are at Risk, UN Committee Rules

Countries can no longer send climate refugees back to nations of origin where the climate crisis might threaten their lives, according to a ruling by the United Nations Human Rights Committee earlier this month—even though the Kiribati resident who filed the original case lost his bid for relocation in New Zealand.

Harvard Students Protest After Exxon’s Law Firm Tries to Recruit Them

An elite U.S. corporate law firm flopped badly in its recent bid to recruit Harvard law students, when nearly a third of the invitees delivered a sharp rebuke for the firm’s ongoing role in defending colossal fossil ExxonMobil, making it clear they saw no kind of professional future with an organization that traffics in fossils.

FERC Oversteps Authority on Local Power Generation

U.S. Judges Toss Landmark Youth Climate Case, Send Plaintiffs Back to the Ballot Box

After a five-year push just to secure a trial date, the landmark Juliana v. United States youth climate justice case is hanging by a thread, after two out of three judges who heard the case before the federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded that it didn’t belong in court.

Scientists Declare 2010s the Hottest Decade, 2019 the Second-Warmest Year on Record

NASA and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have declared the 2010s the hottest 10 years on record, with 2019 the second-warmest ever, findings confirmed by climate-related devastation around the globe.

credit suisse Federer protest

Swiss Judge Acquits Credit Suisse Protesters for ‘Necessary, Proportional’ Response to Climate Crisis

A judge in Lausanne, Switzerland has acquitted a group of youth protesters on trespassing charges and waived fines of CHf 21,600 (US$22,200) per person, ruling their actions were “necessary and proportional” to the “imminent danger” of climate change.

Trusted Household Brands Help YouTube Videos ‘Turn Climate Denial Into Cash’

YouTube is broadcasting climate denial and misinformation to many millions, and some of the world’s biggest brands are unknowingly underwriting that activity, warns a new study conducted by Avaaz.

Construction on Cross-Border Segment of Keystone XL to Begin in April

Construction on the 1.9-kilometre segment of the contested Keystone XL pipeline that crosses the Canada-U.S. border is set to begin in April, according to a filing last week with the U.S. District Court in Montana.

Fossils Acknowledge Climate Litigation Hitting Their Bottom Line

Alaska pipeline winter

Supreme Court Rejects B.C.’s Challenge to Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

The Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously rejected British Columbia’s challenge to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, concluding that the province’s bid to regulate the flow of heavy oil through its territory would defeat the federal government’s constitutional authority to approve and regulate interprovincial pipelines.

Emails Show Trump Justice Department Teaming Up with Fossils in Climate Liability Lawsuit

Donald Trump’s Department of Justice coordinated efforts with fossil companies trying to fight off a climate liability lawsuit from the cities of Oakland and San Francisco in early 2018, with one DOJ lawyer talking about working with industry lawyers as a “team”, according to 178 pages of emails obtained by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and shared with InsideClimate News.

Appeals Court Deals Further Setback to Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Pickering nuclear

False Alarm Draws Attention to Delayed Pickering Nuclear Shutdown, Triggers Surging Demand for Emergency Iodide Pills

Millions of people across Ontario woke up in a panic early Sunday morning, after an emergency alert falsely announced an incident at the Pickering nuclear station east of Toronto.

Democrats Plan ‘Sweeping Legislation’ to Hit Net-Zero Emissions by 2050

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are developing what The Hill calls “sweeping climate legislation” to bring the country to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, while Utility Dive points to renewable energy advocates charting the “most effective” path to hit that target.

UK Recalls Publication Branding XR an ‘Extreme Ideology’

The former head of the United Kingdom’s Prevent anti-radicalization team is taking police to task for listing Extinction Rebellion as an extreme ideology in a publication designed to help stop terrorist violence.

EPA Ignores Health Benefits of Coal Rule It’s Working to Undercut

Stop Indigenous Evictions at Coastal GasLink Site, B.C. Human Rights Commissioner Urges

Canada must stop the eviction of Wet’suwet’en and Secwepemc protesters blockading the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern British Columbia, guarantee that no force will be used against them, and prohibit the use of lethal weapons on the site, B.C. Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender said Friday.

New Trump Regulation Would Take Climate Out of the Discussion on New Infrastructure Projects

The Trump administration is planning revisions to the U.S. National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) to remove the requirement for federal agencies to take the climate crisis into account in their assessments of new pipelines, highways, and other infrastructure projects.

Minnesota Republicans Back Clean Energy Transition Bill

Amazon Staff Face ‘Formal Corrective Action’ for Challenging Company’s Climate Performance

While pledging aggressive action to reduce a carbon footprint that approaches that of Denmark, Amazon is policing climate activists on its payroll, recently threatening to dismiss several employees who’ve publicly called on the sprawling tech giant to do more, including severing its ties with Big Oil.

Minnesota Court Forces New Wisconsin Gas Plant to Probe Climate Impacts

Nevada Governor Signs Executive Order to Cut Emissions, Speed Up Advanced Energy

Yurek Cancels Eastern Ontario Wind Farm Despite Looming Fears for Electricity Supply

The Doug Ford government’s abrupt cancellation of an eastern Ontario wind power development is running headlong into concerns about the reliability of the province’s electricity supply over the next two to four years.

‘Groundbreaking’ Supreme Court Ruling Mandates Fast Carbon Cut in The Netherlands

Dutch campaigners are declaring an “immense victory for climate justice” after a strongly-worded supreme court judgement December 20 upheld governments’ human rights duty to protect citizens from climate change and ordered The Netherlands to cut greenhouse gas emissions 25% below 1990 levels by the end of this year.

Austria to Set 2040 Carbon Neutral Target as Greens Join Coalition Government

Austria is poised to become a European “forerunner” in climate protection and set a 2040 carbon-neutral target after the centre-right People’s Party (Oe Vp) and the Greens announced a coalition government last Thursday.

Wet’suwet’en Evict Pipeline Contractors, Expect RCMP Push After Judge Extends Injunction Against Blockade

Wet’suwet’en land defenders issued an eviction notice to a Coastal GasLink pipeline work site near Houston, British Columbia but were expecting a stepped-up RCMP presence in their territory, after a provincial supreme court judge extended an existing interim injunction against their blockade of the controversial, C$6.6-billion project.

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/

Wilkinson Weighs Teck Tar Sands/Oil Sands Megaproject Against Net-Zero Carbon Pledge

Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says he’s grappling with how Teck Resources’ C$20.6-billion tar sands/oil sands mining megaproject fits in with Canada’s climate commitments, with a decision on the controversial project expected in the first three months of the year.

Europe Threatens Border Adjustment Tariff for Climate Laggards Like U.S.

In what Politico interprets as a lesson learned from Donald Trump’s trade wars, the European Union is threatening a carbon tariff on countries like the United States that refuse to step up and commit to getting their greenhouse gas emissions under control.

Alberta Faces Skepticism for War Room Announcement, Trashes Its Own Claim that Carbon Tax Hurts GDP

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is having a rough week, with two veteran journalists questioning the potential impact of his much-anticipated fossil war room and his own government’s court documents undercutting his claim that the previous NDP government’s carbon levy harmed the province’s economy.

Greta Thunberg

Thunberg, 15 Other Youth Call Out Canadian, Norwegian Fossils for Violating Children’s Rights

With #FridaysForFuture founder Greta Thunberg and 15 other youth campaigners in Madrid calling out Canada and Norway for violating children’s rights and urging them to wind down their oil and gas production, Norway’s top fossil lobbyist is openly fretting about the “intense” nature of the debate around his industry’s climate impact.

New UK Government Faces Steep Climb on Net-Zero Target, Power Supply Post-Brexit

Implementing the United Kingdom’s net-zero by 2050 target, eliminating planning bottlenecks for offshore wind, and keeping post-Brexit power connections with Europe smooth, especially for Ireland, are three challenges facing Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Greentech Media reports, in a follow-up on the election last week that brought Johnson a majority government.

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/

Decision on Teck Frontier Mega-Mine Will Test Canada’s Climate Action Commitment

The massive Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine in Alberta is emerging as an early test of the re-elected Trudeau government’s climate commitment, with a cabinet decision due in February and campaigners gearing up to oppose a megaproject that would run through 2067 and increase Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by six million tonnes per year.

Alberta Launches ‘Hopeful, Uplifting’ War Room After Kenney’s Ottawa Visit Fizzles

The Alberta government has officially launched its C$30-million “war room” to counter what it claims is misinformation about the province’s fossil industry.

Minority Communities Face Greatest Risk as Atlantic Coast Pipeline Pushes Into Rural America

Promising jobs and property tax revenue, owners of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline are pushing ahead against grassroots resistance and expert testimony, both maintaining that such gains are outweighed by the potential for great harm to be borne mostly by rural, African-American, and Indigenous communities, as well as delicate ecosystems.

Long History of Waste, Shrinkage Due to Climate Change Put Majestic Colorado River At Risk

One hundred years after politicians ignored warnings that even the majestic Colorado River could not sustain all the demands on its water from seven different states, policy-makers are still ignoring the science—a path that is particularly unwise in a climate emergency, Grist reports.

Three States Join Lawsuit Against Line 5 Pipeline

Minnesota Regulator Sees Little Impact on Lake Superior from Line 3

Jonathan Wilkinson COP 25 climate Canada

Canada Pledges Net Zero by 2050 as Major Emitters Dig In to Block COP 25 Progress

Canada earned praise for promising to legislate a 2050 deadline for net-zero carbon emissions, but big emitters like Australia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India, and China were called out for blocking progress, as COP 25 moved into a crucial round of high-level negotiations this week in Madrid.

VW

Enviros Call for Billions in Fines After VW Canada Pleads Guilty to Dieselgate Charges

Volkswagen is pleading guilty, and two environmental groups are calling for billions of dollars in penalties, after the federal government capped a four-year investigation of the 2015 Dieselgate scandal by laying 60 charges against the company under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).

New York State Loses Anti-Fraud Case Against ExxonMobil

New York State Attorney General Letitia James has failed in an attempt to prove that colossal fossil ExxonMobil defrauded its investors out of up to US$1.6 billion by hiding the true costs it would face from climate change regulation.

Wildfire

PG&E, Wildfire Victims Reach $13.5-Billion Settlement

Bankrupt utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has reached a tentative US$13.5-billion settlement with the victims of devastating wildfires that killed dozens and destroyed tens of thousands of homes across its Northern California service area.

Shipping Moves Closer to Mandatory Carbon Reduction R&D

Denmark to Cut Emissions 70% by 2030 While New Zealand Adopts Climate Policy Lens

Two of the world’s wealthier countries have committed to a more ambitious response to the climate crisis, with Denmark adopting a 2030 deadline for a 70% emissions reduction and New Zealand declaring it will filter all major government decisions through a “climate lens”—although observers aren’t unanimously excited about New Zealand’s plan.

BP ‘Greenwashing’ Campaign Draws Legal Challenge

New Coal Plant Construction Puts Indonesia at Odds with 1.5°C Carbon Target

Even as its neighbours join the rest of the world in turning increasingly away from coal, Indonesia is charging full steam ahead with new coal plant construction, putting any hope of aligning with a 1.5°C average global warming target under the 2015 Paris Agreement in serious jeopardy along the way.

Bristol Becomes First UK City to Ban Diesel Cars from City Core

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/

BREAKING: Moody’s Downgrades Alberta’s Credit While Federal Regulator Predicts Continuing Over-Dependence on Oil

One of the world’s leading credit assessment agencies has downgraded its rating for Alberta, citing the province’s over-dependence on fossil fuels, lack of pipeline access, carbon intensity, and vulnerability to climate disasters.

60% of Toxic Superfund Sites in U.S. Are Vulnerable to Climate Impacts

With 60% of America’s toxic Superfund sites at risk from climate impacts like storm surge and flooding, wildfires and rising seas, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must urgently incorporate climate change into its risk assessments and response protocols, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) states in a report release last month.

U.S. Utility Suspends Gas Moratorium in New York State

Massachusetts Town’s Gas Heating Ban Could Spur Change Across Region

New EU Pollution Controls Undercut Investments in Coal Refurbishments

Trump Administration Eases Regs on Utility Coal Ash Disposal

Ecofiscal Commission Urges $210/Tonne Carbon Tax as Canada Falls Behind on 2030 Target

Canada will need to quadruple its carbon tax to C$210 per tonne by 2030, enough to raise gasoline prices by about 40¢ per litre, if the government relies solely on pricing to hit its 2030 emissions reduction target, Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission concludes in its final report issued this week.

Alaska National Wildlife Refuge

Trump Administration Plans Massive Expansion for Alaska Oil Drilling

Continuing its assault on Obama-era environmental protections in the Arctic, the Trump administration released a draft proposal earlier this month to open as much as 81% of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve—critical habitat for endangered caribou, grizzlies, wolves, and migratory birds—to exploratory drilling for oil.

Federally-Owned Trans Mountain Takes Criticism for Surveillance on Indigenous Opponents

In a move that legal experts are condemning as a disquieting disregard for the democratic rights of assembly and free expression, federally-owned Trans Mountain Corporation has been conducting surveillance on its opponents, trolling their social media posts, and exchanging intelligence with the RCMP.

Doug Ford Ontario government

Seven Youth Sue Ford Government for ‘Tearing Up Ontario’s Climate Laws’

Seven Ontario youth are suing the Doug Ford government for “tearing up the province’s climate laws and violating their Charter rights to life, liberty, and security of the person,” Ecojustice announced yesterday.

EU European Union

EU to Declare Climate Emergency Ahead of UN Climate Conference Next Week

European Union legislators are on track to declare a climate emergency ahead of the annual United Nations climate conference opening next week in Madrid, while stressing that the symbolic statement must be backed up by action.

California Sets Moratorium on Fracking Technique, Demands Scientific Evidence for New Permits

California will make new oil and gas fracking permits subject to scientific review, slap a moratorium on a production technique responsible for a recent major spill, and set new public safety rules for siting oil and gas wells under new regulations announced last week by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Sumatra elephant

Fires Driven by Drought, Forest Clearing Ravage Sumatran Elephant and Tiger Habitat

Fires across Indonesia this summer and fall, driven by a wet season cut short by drought, drained peatlands turned to tinder, and farmers conducting slash-and-burn forest clearing, have ravaged habitat for critically endangered Sumatran elephants and tigers.

New York City Launches Appeal in Climate Suit Against Colossal Fossils

Ecojustice Challenges ‘Partisan Political Purposes’ Behind Alberta’s Foreign Funding Inquiry

Environmental law charity Ecojustice has filed a legal challenge against the Kenney government’s C$2.5-million commission on supposed “foreign-funded radicals” opposing the Alberta fossil industry, asserting the probe was set up for “partisan political purposes” and has been tainted by bias in its operations.

Parliament Buildings Ottawa, Canada

Ottawa Offers Flexibility on Fossil Regulation as New Cabinet Gets to Work

Alberta’s energy minister declared herself “very encouraged” by her first meeting with her federal counterpart, Ottawa’s Western liaison opened the door to watering down federal environmental protection regulations, and Quebec environmentalists second-guessed the decision not to appoint one of their own as environment minister as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s newly-appointed cabinet got down to work last week.

Pete Buttigieg

Spat Over Buttigieg Campaign Advisor Spotlights Splits in Climate Action Community

Concern about the fossil fuel connections of a climate advisor to South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg in his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is pointing toward a public spat within the U.S. climate and energy community.

Keystone Spill Affected 10 Times More Land Than Regulator First Reported

The 1.4 million litres of tar sands/oil sands bitumen that spilled from the Keystone pipeline late last month affected 10 times more land than North Dakota state regulators initially reported, state environmental scientist Bill Seuss said Monday.

Cars for sale

California to Stop Buying from Automakers that Back Trump’s Fuel Economy Rollback

California has declared it will stop doing business with automakers that support Donald Trump’s bid to roll back the state’s long-established right to set its own, tougher fuel economy standards.

Trump Organization to Pay $290,000 for Failed Attack on Scottish Wind Farm

Four years after his effort to block an offshore wind farm project near one of his 16 golf courses was unanimously rebuked by the UK Supreme Court, Donald Trump has been ordered to pay Scotland US$290,000 to cover its legal expenses.

New Map Shows 19 Years of Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Spills

B.C. Energy Efficiency Regs Quietly Do Their Job

California, 22 Other States Launch Latest Suit Against Trump Fuel Economy Rollback

Nearly two dozen U.S. states are taking Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the U.S. Court of Appeals to defend California’s long-standing right to set its own, tougher standards for vehicle fuel efficiency.

Charity Slams ‘Undemocratic, Unfounded’ Foreign-Funded Radicals Panel

Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party government is taking fire from one of the province’s most established philanthropic institutions, with the Edmonton-based Muttart Foundation declaring that Alberta’s inquiry into supposed foreign funding of anti-fossil advocacy is polarizing, undemocratic, and unfounded.

Canadian Fossils Log 11,452 Federal Lobbying Contacts in Eight Years

An astronomical 11,452 lobbying contacts from 46 fossil companies between 2011 and 2018—an average of more than six per regular work day over an eight-year span—amounted to “strategic, organized, and sustained lobbying” that helped to explain “the past and continuing close coupling of federal policy to the needs of the fossil fuel industry,” according to an analysis released earlier this month by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

Absence of Other Choices Drives Indigenous Role in Oil and Gas

The potent power of oil and gas is dividing Indigenous communities in western Canada, with one side championing the industry as the only available path away from poverty, while the other condemns it as a neocolonialist destroyer of Indigenous values and the global climate.

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. Fossils Stretching the Truth? Warren Has a Plan for That

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), for whom “I have a plan for that” has become a mantra in her campaign for her party’s 2020 presidential nomination, is proposing a “corporate perjury” law to crack down on corruption in industry and citing colossal fossil ExxonMobil as a poster child for why the measure is needed.

New York State Walks Back Charges Against Exxon

Ex-EPA Administrator McCarthy Joins NRDC as CEO

Gina McCarthy, who led the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency between 2013 and 2017 under President Barack Obama, has signed on as president and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an organization that has amassed an impressive record of wins in the nearly 100 environmental lawsuits it has launched against the Trump administration.

TC Energy Restarts Keystone Pipeline While Studying Why 1.4 Million Litres Spilled

TC Energy is restarting the Keystone pipeline while it works to understand why the line spilled more than 1.4 million litres (9,120 barrels) of tar sands/oil sands diluted bitumen along a quarter-mile/0.4-kilometre stretch of northeastern North Dakota late last month. The incident has only strengthened the resolve of Nebraska landowners fighting the company’s efforts to expropriate their land to build the fiercely-contested Keystone XL pipeline.

White House Twists Automakers’ Arms in Crusade Against California Carbon Controls

Arm-twisting automakers into an assault on tailpipe emission standards, and taking regulatory action against companies that won’t go along, has emerged as one of the latest strategies in the Trump administration’s continuing push to roll back Obama-era pollution controls while punishing California for trying to defend them.

EXCLUSIVE: Brazil Crude Oil Calamity Spells Warning for Canada

Eight weeks ago, the famed white sand beaches of northeast Brazil began blackening as globs of toxic oil suddenly appeared to coat or contaminate crustaceans, fish, sea turtles, birds, rocks, and shallow mangrove nurseries sheltering all manner of marine life. An investigation by Paul McKay.

Two-Thirds of Canadians Want Federal Action on Climate Crisis

Two-thirds of Canadians want the country’s response to the climate crisis to continue or accelerate under Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberal government, and nearly 60% were dissatisfied with the Conservative Party’s climate platform in the recent federal election, according to polling results released last week by Clean Energy Canada.

Study of Fracking-Related Earthquake Shows B.C. Rock Formations in ‘Hair-Trigger State’

Fracking operations should proceed with caution in gas-rich northeastern British Columbia, with recent research into last November’s fracking-induced 4.5 magnitude earthquake near the Site C dam site revealing underground rock seams in a hair-trigger state—needing only a small injection of fracking fluid to induce “seismicity”.

Nova Scotia Declines Cities’ Request for Offshore Oil and Gas Moratorium

Two First Nations Abandon Trans Mountain Appeals

Florida Regulator Pushes Back on Utility Plan to Cut Efficiency Programming

Green Economy, Climate Change Emerge as Key Priorities for Trudeau Government

The green economy and climate change are shaping up as a key focal point for the re-elected Trudeau government, with seven cabinet portfolios set to play “key roles in helping Canada adapt to the rapidly expanding global green economy and create jobs in clean energy,” the Globe and Mail reports, citing sources familiar with the government’s emerging priorities.

U.S. Utility Plans 30 More Years of Gas Plants, Despite Risk of Early Phaseouts

North Carolina-based Duke Energy is insisting that natural gas plants built today are critical lynchpins in its strategy to become 100% carbon-free by 2050, dismissing some stakeholders’ predictions that they will be stranded assets long before that date, with future generations left to pick up the tab.

Twitter Political Advertising Ban Allows Fossil Messaging, Could Block Critics

While Twitter is earning some praise for its decision to ban political advertising as of November 22, sharp-eyed analysts are pointing to an aspect of the social platform’s new policy that gives fossil industry propaganda a new advantage.

Nigeria Demands $62 Billion in Fossil Compensation

UK Sets Nation-Wide Fracking Moratorium

The United Kingdom has issued a temporary moratorium on shale gas fracking, citing the industry’s inability to “reliably predict and control tremors”.

Climate Groups Urge Canadian Green New Deal, Demand Fast Action on Climate Accountability Law [sign-on]

Pressure is mounting on Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberal government to deliver on its promise of climate action, with 27 youth protesters briefly occupying the lobby of the House of Commons earlier this week and a public interest law firm campaigning for a new climate accountability law.

Front-Line Protests, Solid Research Drive Indonesia to Quit Coal, Protect Biodiversity

From the transition off coal, to protecting the biodiverse islands that helped inspire the theory of evolution, a combination of front-line protests and solid research is pulling Indonesia toward a more aggressive response to the climate crisis.

Kinder Morgan Faces City Lawsuits Over Texas Aquifer

South Dakota Backs Off ‘Riot-Boosting’ Pipeline Protest Penalties

‘Step Backwards’ on Carbon Rules Saves Alberta’s Big Emitters $330 Million Per Year

Alberta has introduced a new C$30-per-tonne carbon cap-and-trade system that covers most of its biggest industrial greenhouse gas emitters, but will cost them $330 million less next year because of looser compliance requirements.

Central Bank Office in San Francisco Traces Financial Risks of a Destabilized Climate

A destabilized climate could lead to a precipitous decline in property values, cutting communities off from the tax base they need to fund climate adaptation while banks stop lending in areas that experience repeated floods, according to an analysis released earlier this month by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Russian Industry Guts Draft Climate Law

15,000 Rally with Thunberg in Vancouver as Youth Lawsuit Lists Climate-Related Injuries

An estimated 15,000 supporters crowded through downtown Vancouver for the city’s first weekly climate strike since the federal election, with #FridaysforFuture founder Greta Thunberg on hand to lend her support to a youth lawsuit against federal climate inaction that was launched the same day.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraction_of_petroleum

Fossils Lobby for Subsidies as Decommissioning Orphan Wells Becomes Oilpatch’s Only Growth Industry

With more oil and gas wells abandoned than drilled in Alberta this year, decommissioning dead rigs is the only business showing any kind of growth in Western Canada’s struggling oilpatch.

Massachusetts Sues Exxon for Allegedly Defrauding Consumers, Investors on Climate Risks

Massachusetts has filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil, in what Climate Liability News says is the first case to accuse the colossal fossil of fraud against both consumers and investors over climate risks.

Klamath River Gains Legal Rights as ‘Person’

TODAY: 15 Canadian Youth File Suit Against Ottawa’s Slow Response to Climate Crisis

Fifteen Canadian youth are filing a lawsuit against the federal government today, accusing Ottawa of violating their rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by contributing to the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for the climate crisis.

Critics Look for More Detail, Deeper Cuts After Nova Scotia Pledges Net-Zero by 2050

Nova Scotia has unveiled plans to bring its greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, and is holding the door open to set additional climate targets over the next year.

Spray-Painted Slur Mustn’t ‘Chase Women Out of Politics’, McKenna Asserts

A vile, misogynistic slur spray-painted on the campaign office of Ottawa Centre MP Catherine McKenna has led to an outbreak of multi-partisan decency, with everyone from federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh to Ontario Premier Doug Ford condemning the vandalism.

Storing Grid Power in EV Batteries Could Level Out Utility Peaks, Save Owners $560 Per Year

An automobile fleet that included even 10% electric vehicles would be enough to shift the daily electricity generation peak in California from daytime to nighttime hours if utility Southern California Edison used the cars to store renewable energy while they’re parked and draw it down when it’s needed most, according to a study released last week.

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Baltimore Climate Suit Against 26 Fossils

With Climate on the Agenda, Advocates Call for Legislated Targets, Fossil Industry Phasedown

As election results rolled in last night in downtown Ottawa, climate hawks assessed the results of the first campaign in Canadian history where climate change was at the top of the political agenda. Now, they say the next step is to hold a reconfigured parliament accountable for the domestic action and international commitments that will make the country a world leader in responding to the climate crisis.

B.C. Regulator Takes Global View of GHG Emissions from Kitimat LNG Project

An upcoming public consultation will focus at least in part on the greenhouse gas impact of Chevron Corporation’s Kitimat LNG project, after the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) prevailed on the California-based colossal fossil to assess the project’s climate footprint from a regional and global perspective.

New York Regulator Approves Massive Battery Storage Project

Federal Regulator Second-Guesses Auditor After Fire Safety Review Finds Gaps at Trans Mountain Tank Farms

Fire protection systems at three oil storage facilities attached to the Trans Mountain pipeline fell short of industry best practices in some ways, even though they met “applicable regulations, codes, and standards,” according to an independent audit conducted three years ago and only released this week under access to information laws.

New Lawsuit Accuses Exxon of Masking Tens of Billions in Climate-Related Costs

Colossal fossil ExxonMobil will stand accused of misleading investors by masking tens of billions of dollars in climate-related costs when proceedings get under way next week in a civil case brought by New York State attorney general Letitia James.

Alberta Exempts Fossil ‘War Room’ from Information Access Laws

Dakota Access Protesters Face 110 Years in Prison

Oil Lobby Wish List Would Drive Up Canada’s Fossil Emissions 60% by 2030, Analysis Shows

The overheated wish list that Canada’s oil industry is putting forward in this month’s federal election would use up 60% of the entire country’s 2030 carbon budget under the Paris Agreement, Toronto-based Environmental Defence concludes in a scathing analysis released Monday.

New York Grid Looks to Carbon Pricing to Support Zero-Emission Target

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) is looking to carbon pricing as an option to reduce the otherwise “astounding” cost of bringing the state’s electricity system to zero emissions by 2040, though it says it won’t take action without a go-ahead from Governor Andrew Cuomo and state stakeholders.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament

Election Wrap: Parties Respond to Climate Survey, Enviros Tip-Toe Around New Election Law as Campaign Passes the Half-Way Point

Four out of five major federal parties answered a five-part survey on their intentions for climate action and environmental groups were still stepping carefully around Elections Canada rules for third-party messaging as the federal election campaign moved past the half-way point this week.

First Nations, Landowners, Local Governments File Objections to Trans Mountain Pipeline Route

Construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion could be held up by objections from dozens of First Nations, landowners, and local governments along the route, the Globe and Mail reports.

U.S. Judge Blocks Logging in Tongass National Forest

B.C. Municipalities Face North-South Split on Climate Accountability Lawsuits

All Eyes on 2020 After UN Climate (Action) Summit Fails to Deliver

The tepid results of last week’s United Nations Climate Summit pointed to the need for political will to match the urgency of the climate crisis, the opportunities in climate solutions, and rising public demand that governments take action, E3G co-founder and CEO Nick Mabey writes for Climate Home News.

B.C. Wins Injunction Against Alberta Bill to Cut Oil Supplies

Germany Charges VW Execs in Dieselgate Scandal

‘How Dare You?’ Thunberg Demands, as UN Climate Summit Gets Under Way

“How dare you?” was the question multiple media reports took away from Monday’s opening session of the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where #FridaysForFuture founder Greta Thunberg of Sweden was invited to the opening panel by UN Secretary General António Guterres.

New Hampshire Governor Bans Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

McGill Law Student Wins Global Essay Contest Arguing for Future Generations’ Climate Rights

A McGill University law student earned a spot at the United Nations Youth Climate Summit this past weekend by writing the winning submission to The Economist’s Open Future Essay Competition.

South Dakota Judge Stalls Lawsuit Aimed at Keystone XL Protesters

Ecojustice Threatens Legal Action Over Alberta’s ‘Foreign Interference’ Inquiry

Ecojustice is giving Alberta 30 days to respond to concerns about its C$2.5-million inquiry into supposed foreign interference in the province’s fossil sector, asserting the probe is “unlawful and potentially unconstitutional” in its current form.

Pollution Controls Will Decline as Alberta Shutters Monitoring Office, Ex-Official Warns

The former chief monitoring officer of Alberta’s Environmental Monitoring and Science Division (EMSD) is raising the alarm about the province’s decision last week to shutter the office and fold it into a new administrative structure, at the same curtailing its stand-alone climate change office, warning that the province’s monitoring of fossil-driven industrial pollution will continue to decline as a result.

Minnesota Supreme Court Refuses Line 3 Review

BREAKING: Thunberg to Deliver Terse Testimony to U.S. Congress

#FridaysForFuture founder Greta Thunberg is scheduled to deliver terse testimony at this hour to the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, along with three other youth leaders.

Squamish Nation Urges ‘Extensive and Deep’ Consultations as B.C. Court Sends Trans Mountain Back for Provincial Review

The Squamish Nation celebrated a limited victory yesterday in its fight against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, after the provincial Court of Appeal ruled the B.C. government must reassess its previous approval of the project based on changes to a federal regulatory review.

U.S. Aims to Strip California’s Right to Set Tougher Tailpipe Emission Standards

The Trump administration plans to follow through with an attempt to strip California of its hard-fought right to set tougher pollution control standards for cars and light trucks, the Washington Post reports, citing two senior government sources.

Federal Methane Rules Drive Better Technology, Tighter Measurement

‘Time to Pull the Plug’: Report Shows Construction Delays, Safety Issues Delaying Trans Mountain, Making Pipeline a Financial Loser

Construction challenges, steadfast opposition from landowners along the route, shocking safety and health risks at two tank farms, and the looming risk of construction “man camps” near B.C. Indigenous communities all call into question the federal government’s stated belief that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will open on schedule in 2022, Vancouver-based Stand.earth concludes in a blockbuster report released Wednesday.
The resulting delays could boost the project’s completion costs, undercutting its financial viability and turning the now publicly-owned pipeline megaproject into a “white elephant”, Stand says.

Kenney’s ‘Foreign Influence’ Probe Draws Criticism from All Sides

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is under fire from all sides, after unveiling details of a taxpayer-funded investigation of supposed foreign-funded pipeline opposition that includes an email “snitch line” for Albertans to report allegedly “un-Albertan” activities by their neighbours.

Japan Nuclear Regulator Announces New Probe of Fukushima Disaster

Japan’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority is opening a new investigation into the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March, 2011 that forced 160,000 people to evacuate, many never return, and is now expected to take “decades and decades” to clean up.

First Nations List Climate Action as First Priority for Next Federal Government

Just two days ahead of the official launch of Canada’s federal election, expected later this morning, the Assembly of First Nations released a policy paper identifying climate change as the top priority for the next federal government.

Trump’s Light Bulb Efficiency Rollback to Cost Consumers $14 Billion Per Year

In what one major business-environment coalition is calling an “unforced error”, the Trump administration is moving to weaken a George W. Bush-era light bulb efficiency standard that dates back to 2007, was due to take effect in the new year, and would save enough electricity to power every home in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Opioid Judgement Against Major Drugmaker Holds Hope for Court Action Against U.S. Fossils

A landmark Oklahoma court decision holding a major drugmaker responsible for its part in the opioid addiction crisis is catching the attention of the growing legion of U.S. lawyers trying to hold fossils accountable for their role in the climate crisis.

Draft Law in Germany Would Begin Black Coal Phaseout in 2020

Iowa Landfill Tightens Rules for Discarded Wind Turbine Blades

Trans Mountain Wouldn’t Respond Fast Enough to Burnaby Mountain Tank Farm Fire, Federal Regulator Concludes

Trans Mountain Corporation won’t be able to respond fast enough if one of the bitumen storage tanks in its massive Burnaby Mountain tank farm boils over and spills, according to an audit completed in May by the National Energy Board, before it was replaced by the new Canada Energy Regulator.

‘Cruel Parody of Anti-Trust Enforcement’ as Trump Justice Department Probes Automakers’ Emissions Deal with California

In what a New York Times editorial calls a “cruel parody of anti-trust enforcement”, the U.S. Justice Department has launched an investigation after four major automakers embarrassed Donald Trump by striking a deal with California to boost their vehicles’ fuel efficiency and reduce their tailpipe emissions.

Appeals Court to Hear First Nations’ Case on Trans Mountain Pipeline Re-Approval

Six British Columbia First Nations are getting ready for a “long road ahead”, in the words of Coldwater Indian Band Chief Lee Spahan, after the Federal Court of Appeals agreed this week to hear their legal challenge to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Civil Liberties Lawsuit Says Ontario’s ‘Sticker Act’ Violates Free Speech Guarantees

The Ontario government is violating free speech provisions in the Canadian Constitution by forcing gas stations to display its propaganda stickers opposing the federal carbon tax, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association contends in a lawsuit filed this week.

Trump Moves to Roll Back Protections for World’s Largest Intact Temperate Rainforest

Donald Trump and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue are planning to roll back Bill Clinton-era logging restrictions in Alaska’s 16.7-million-acre/6.75-million-hectare Tongass National Forest, exposing more than half of the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest to logging, fossil, and mining projects.

Peru Plans to End Deforestation from Palm Oil by 2021

Trump Methane Rollback Sows Divisions Among U.S. Fossils

The Trump administration drove a wedge into the U.S. fossil industry last week with a proposal to roll back Obama-era regulations to control climate-busting methane emissions from oil and gas wells, pipelines, and storage facilities.

Sticker Campaign Counters Ontario Carbon Tax Propaganda as Ford Government Launches Supreme Court Challenge

A new non-partisan volunteer group in Ontario is handing out free pro-carbon-tax stickers to counter the mandatory propaganda campaign mounted earlier this year by the province, just as the Ford government announced it would appeal a court ruling that the federal carbon tax is permitted under the Canadian Constitution.

Canadian Energy Regulator Rises from NEB’s Ashes, Faces First Industry Dispute

Liberals Would Not Raise Carbon Tax During a Second Term, But Might Talk About It: McKenna

A re-elected Liberal government that took office this fall would not raise the federal carbon tax above its current 2022 threshold of C$50 per tonne, but might open consultations on a higher price toward the end of its second term in office, Environment and Climate Minister Catherine McKenna clarified Monday, after a series of conflicting news reports dating back to the weekend.

Ontario Government Lays Groundwork to Abandon Legal Fight Against Federal Carbon Tax

Less than two months after a landmark Ontario Court of Appeals ruling upheld the federal carbon tax, Premier Doug Ford may be preparing the ground to abandon his much-publicized court challenge against the program.

Automakers Side with California Against Trump’s Fuel Economy Rollback

Major automakers are siding with California against the Trump administration’s push to roll back Obama-era vehicle efficiency standards, as they scramble to dodge years of court battles and regulatory uncertainty and bolster their public credibility in the face of a mounting climate crisis.

Tesla Reboots Lagging Solar Rental Business as Walmart Sues Over Rooftop Panel Fires

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced plans to reboot his company’s lagging solar division by offering rooftop panels for rent in six U.S. states, just days before Walmart filed a lawsuit over seven fires it linked to Tesla rooftop installations between 2012 and 2018.

Quebec Court Leaves Door Open for Climate Litigation

Canada’s Climate Plan Falls Behind G7 as Global Business Coalition Urges Tougher Targets

Canada’s climate action plan is one of the least ambitious among the world’s leading industrial countries, and none of the seven countries are anywhere near the strategies they would need to hit a 1.5°C target for average global warming, according to a Climate Action Network-France report released on the eve of the annual G7 meeting.

G7 Offers Assistance, Bolsonaro Faces Withering Pressure as Amazon Rainforest Burns

G7 leaders meeting in France are close to an agreement to help Brazil curtail devastating wildfires in the Amazon rainforests, with a coveted trade deal between the European Union and key South American countries hanging in the balance and at least one politician urging the continent to ban Brazilian beef imports over the role of “Capitão Motoserra” (Captain Chainsaw), also known as Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, in enabling and encouraging the fires.

Lawsuits Begin After Trump Attack on U.S. Endangered Species Act

Hot on the heels of the Trump administration’s decision to aggressively weaken the nation’s highly effective Endangered Species Act, eight environmental organizations have launched a legal challenge, citing multiple violations of due process as well as a fundamental breach in the enshrined federal duty to protect America’s wildlife.

Bold Nebraska, Ponca Tribe Undeterred as State Supreme Court Approves Keystone XL Route

Bold Nebraska, Nebraska landowners, and tribal nations are vowing to carry on their fight against the Keystone XL pipeline, after the state Supreme Court upheld a November, 2017 route approval by the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC).

Newfoundland Regulator Takes Notice as Latest Offshore Oil Spill Points to Continuing Risk

The latest in a series of offshore oil spills has roused the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) to express some displeasure at fossils’ ability to meet their obligations for environmental protection.

Jaccard: Scheer Climate Plan Would Put Canada 100 Megatonnes Farther Behind Its Paris Target

Equipped with neither a carbon price nor meaningful regulation, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s proposed climate plan would ultimately find Canada’s emissions 100 megatonnes higher by 2030 than they would be under the Liberal Party’s existing strategy, writes climate and sustainability expert Mark Jaccard.

UK Plans to Relax Earthquake Guidelines for Fracking Sites

New Federal Assessment Rules Exempt Cement Plants, Fracking, In-Situ Tar Sands/Oil Sands

New cement plants, fracking fields, and in-situ tar sands/oil sands projects should not be exempt from review under the federal government’s new Impact Assessment Act, Toronto-based Environmental Defence argues in a letter to the Trudeau government released this week.

Financial Risk of Climate Change Has Economists, Ratings Agencies Worried

The potentially devastating economic and financial impact of unrestrained climate change has been coming into focus in several recent news stories, with global GDP on track to fall as much as 7.2% by 2100, accountants and ratings agencies taking note, and an economic historian warning the United States Federal Reserve to take action against a risk that could trigger the next global economic crash.

Coastal GasLink Asks First Nations to Squelch Community Opposition as NEB Rules Against Federal Review

Just two weeks after Canada’s National Energy Board rejected calls for it to review the contested Coastal GasLink shale gas pipeline, a First Nation in northeast British Columbia revealed the company behind the project tried to pressure it to squelch community opposition to the project.

Trump Officials Throw Roadblocks at Offshore Wind Project After Accelerating Fossil Development

The Trump administration is showing a distinct double standard in a series of decisions to deregulate fossil fuel development while slowing down the landmark Vineyard Wind offshore wind farm in Massachusetts.

Bankrupt California Utility Will Still Honour $42 Billion in Solar, Wind Contracts

There were sighs of relief in California earlier this month, after utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric confirmed it will honour all its contracts with renewable energy providers as it goes through bankruptcy reorganization.

Climate Advocacy Won’t Violate Federal Rules During Fall Campaign, Elections Canada Clarifies

Elections Canada had to go out of its way this week to clarify tha